Friday, April 6, 2012
"Pimpin Aint Easy"
“Pimpin aint easy” is the glorified saying connected with human sex trafficking. The saying made famous through songs by well-known rappers like Big Daddy Kane, ICE-T, and Snoop Dogg has made it apart of popular rap culture for decades. Popular couture has made the imagery of pimps laughable often depicting them in flashy over the top clothing, top hats and canes, and driving lavish luxury cars. This has made the true crime surrounding pimps and sex trafficking lost to the public.
Datqunn Sawyer has been sentenced on Thursday, April 5 to 50 years in a federal prison for his involvement in human sex trafficking. Sawyer was known as a pimp for his control of several young women on the streets of Chicago. Sawyer often targeted minors as young as 12 to force them into prostitution branding them with a tattoo. The tattoo branded on the women were symbols related to Sawyer’s rapper alter ego known as “P-Child”. Sawyer’s attorney argued for a lighter sentence saying that when Sawyer “fell prey” to the rap game’s popularization of pimping. His attorney also brought up that Sawyer’s father had abused him as a child and that Sawyer’s own father was a pimp.
The U.S. District Judge however was not buying the sob story. Through witness testimony Sawyer was sentenced to 50 years in prison which is known to be the harshest conviction in Chicago’s federal court for human sex trafficking. There have been only a handful of human sex trafficking cases due to a lack of witness testimony. Many witnesses feel threatened by their pimps and refuse to stand up in court.
The FBI sees human sex trafficking as the “most common form of modern-day slavery” and has become big business for organized crime. An estimated 293,000 American youths are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation (Hill, Rodriguez, 2010).
Media has a large part in the glorification of sex trafficking and also a large part in condemning it. There needs to be a larger effort in condemning the actions and the lifestyle of pimps. We need to raise awareness of human sex trafficking here in the United States.